Chora Church & Istanbul Walls
Trip Start Jun 11, 2010
23Trip End Jul 22, 2010
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Where I stayed
Kariye Musezi, a small church built in 1100, during the Byzantine era. What ever it had lacked in size, it made up with the stunning mosaics plastered across its ceilings. ONE OF MY FAVORITE SIGHTS!
The mosaics were well preserved because when the Ottomans took over the then Byzantine church, instead of destroying the mosaics, they just covered it with paint, built a minaret, and successfully converted it to become a mosque. In the 1940s, it was rediscovered and restored to it's present state.
After checking out the mosaics, I followed Steve's recommendation of checking out the old walls of Constantinople. Although impressive and still intact, the walls are located in a sketchy part of Istanbul so visit this place with caution. I ventured into this by myself and got confronted with beggars & people who attempted to extort money from me. I didn't finish the whole tour, and decided to just head back to my hostel.
My friend picked me up in the evening for an event in New Istanbul. I witnessed the biggest selection of mezes (appetizers) in one location, and I believed they broke a Guiness World Record then! There was also a concert that featured several famous Turkish entertainers. My friend, who worked for CNN then, got us VIP tickets. I found myself rubbing elbows with various Turkish celebrities. Such a beautiful populace!